The government’s proposed Media Bill will receive its Second reading in the House of Commons today (Tuesday 21 November 2023). The Bill represents the biggest update to media regulation in a generation and will shape the future of TV and radio services for years to come.
However, under the current government policy, traditional broadcast services are only guaranteed until 2030. After that, they will become redundant, replaced by services provided through a broadband connection.
Campaign group Broadcast 2040+ is now calling on MPs to speak against the changes during today’s reading and to make the case for their rural constituents.
The coalition, of which RSN is a member, says:
“tens of millions of people across the country rely on them every day. We are campaigning for a commitment from the UK Government that broadcast TV and radio services will be available to everyone until 2040 and beyond. The Media Bill is the ideal opportunity to guarantee these protections.”
Previously the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer has stated that the government will not ‘pull the rug from under the devoted audiences of Freeview channels’ and that they ‘want terrestrial television to remain accessible for the foreseeable future’. Meanwhile, Ofcom is currently undertaking a review into the ‘Future of TV Distribution’ which will influence the longevity of broadcast TV in the UK. However, the BBC’s Director General, Tim Davie, has called for a move away from broadcast services, arguing that “a switch off of broadcast will and should happen over time, and we should be active in planning for it.”
But RSN Chief Executive, Kerry Booth, says it is crucial government listens to the public:
A recent report by coalition member Silver Voices, found that:
You can read the Silver Voices report Safeguarding Universality: The Future of Broadcast TV and Radio here.
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